Hornet athletics held the Hall of Fame dinner and ceremony to commemorate remarkable past athletes and coaches at Fullerton College.
The event was a huge success as the school cafeteria was filled with 300 guests honoring the inductees and was put on by our very own Hornet Athletic department.
“It is a great honor, I was only here one year and to be inducted into the Hall of Fame here is unbelievable,” past baseball player and inductee Steve Kiefer said.
Kiefer played for the Hornets baseball team from 1980 to 1981, where he batted .355 and hit seven triples. He later went on to be drafted as the sixteenth pick of the amateur draft by Oakland Athletics Baseball organization. He played baseball around the world until his retirement from pro baseball in 1991.
12 prior students and coaches were inducted in a night where past athletes were honored and served dinner by current student-athletes.
Apart of the inductees was prior football coach, Glenn Thomas, who coached from 1973 to 1997 and lead the Hornet football team to win a national championship in 1983. Ten conference titles were won during Thomas’ time as the head coach.
The Hall of Fame inducts new members every other year, this was the seventh Hall of Fame held since 2005.
“It is an honor and a privilege it is just a representation of how so many people come together and achieve something memorable,” past softball player and inductee Julie Poulos said.
Poulos played Hornet softball from 1986 to 1988, where she was the Southern California Player of the year in 1988, All-State Team honors in 1987 and 1988, among other awards. She had a batting average of .507 in 1988. She later went on to win the College World Series at UCLA while on a full-ride scholarship in 1989.
Retired LA Sports and News Anchor, Ed Arnold, who has hosted the ceremony since the beginning, introduced the inductees into the Hall of Fame.
Criteria to be inducted includes athletic accomplishments within Hornet athletics as well as beyond FC, a memorable contribution to both academics or athletics programs, and professional accomplishments.
Bob Frojen, a water polo player and swimmer and Dennis Dixon, a football player, were inducted posthumously. Frojen’s wife accepted the induction on her husband’s behalf while Dixon’s daughter accepted on her father’s behalf.
Kiefer advised current student-athletes that in order to be successful, “You just have to persevere and you have to listen to your coaches.”
Each inductee spoke of their time as a Hornet whether it be a coach or an athlete and each said that the coaches and other student’s attitudes are what made their individual experiences both memorable and successful.
“My fondest memory is mainly the camaraderie with the team and the coach,” said Kiefer about his time at Fullerton.
The Hall of Fame has 82 members to date which include athletes and coaches from every sport, including this year’s inductees.
Former Hornet basketball player from 1976 to 1978 and coach from 1997 to 2014 and inductee, Debi Woelke was especially honored. Woelke was successful as both an athlete and coach. As a player she was part of the Hornet’s state title team in 1978 and as a coach. Woelke won 400 games and led her team to qualify for post-season play 14 of 15 seasons.
Her past athletes attended the event to show support for their coach. The former athletes made personalized M&Ms and basketball stress balls to show their love for their former coach that had such an impact on their lives.
After Woleke accepted her award, her former athletes and friends sung their team song, “Reach Out and Touch Somebody’s Hand” by Diana Ross.
The event became a night full of many past memories and Hornet legends that will never be forgotten. Until 2019, Hornet Athletics will continue to seek out and recognize coaches and athletes that have made a significant difference in our athletic reputation.